A Dhaka court, Sunday, framed charges against Shamima Noor Papia, an expelled leader of Jubo Mahila League, and her husband Mofizur Rahman alias Sumon Chowdhury, in an arms case.
The couple, now behind bars, pleaded not guilty and demanded justice after Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge KM Imrul Kayes read out the charges brought against them.
The court also set August 31 and September 1, 2 and 3 to record witness testimonies.
Earlier, on June 29, the investigation officer of the case and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB 1) Sub-Inspector (SI) Mohammad Arifuzzaman submitted the charge sheet before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) court, Dhaka.
On February 22, RAB 1 arrested Papia and her husband–along with two of her accomplices–at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, in Dhaka, while they were trying to flee the country.
Seven passports, two debit cards, 11,481 US dollars, Tk2.12 lakh, fake notes worth Tk25,600, and some currencies from Sri Lanka and India were seized from their possession.
Later, a foreign pistol, two magazines, 20 bullets, five bottles of foreign liquor, Tk58.41 lakh, and payment cards of various banks were recovered during RAB's raid of Papia's apartment in Farmgate.
Three cases were filed against them–two with the Sher-e-Bangla Nagar Police Station under the Arms and Special Powers Act–while another was with the Biman Bandar Police Station under the Special Powers Act of 1974.
Papia and Sumon, who are also facing charges in two other cases relating to the possession of counterfeit notes and liquor, are currently behind bars. They were presented in court for the charge-framing hearing before being taken back to jail.
Chief Public Prosecutor Abdullah Abu and Taposh Pal represented the state at the hearing, while lawyers Abu Fateh Md Golam Fattah and Shakhawat Hossain appeared on behalf of the accused.